REVIEW: Always on My Mind, Living Record Festival

Bittersweet, this short play reveals how the breakdown of a relationship can leave us feeling confused and lonely.

Lockdown can have us thinking about a lot of things and make us feel lonely as this honest and relatable short play reveals through the eyes of Stacey and Curtis.

Written by Liam Alexandru, Always on My Mind sees the former couple discussing their relationship, while in the background their counterparts Jill and Jack bring their inner turmoil to life. Although the conversation is stilted, you get a real sense that both have have more to say than is conveyed.

In particular, I really enjoyed the way in which Jill and Jack contradict what Stacey and Curtis are saying to each other. This is particularly seen as Curtis asks about Stacey’s new relationship and while Jill says three months Stacey blurts out one month – although it means you are never quite sure who is speaking the truth, its an interesting device to show how they are struggling to say how really feel.

While Always on My Mind starts off as stilted and awkward conversation, it soon turns into a more deep and meaningful dissection of their relationship which broke down much to the pain of both. It has been well written to give real insight into how both characters are feeling and their personalities.

Each character is given a lot of impressive depth from both Charles Lomas (Curtis/Jack) and Lucy Syed (Stacey/Jill), who highlight the contrasting feelings with a lot of warmth and sharpness that keeps the audience invested in what is being said.

Cleverly directed by Theodore Gray, it is a smart piece that could certainly be developed further than its 18 minute current running time as it finishes quite abruptly and it would be interesting to see how they would attempt to build up their relationship again.

While perhaps the flash-back moments feel a bit disorientating in the way in which they have been filmed, Always On My Mind is a relatable and bittersweet examination on relationships and the difficulty of moving forward emotionally.

By Emma Clarendon

Always on My Mind is available to watch through the Living Record Festival until the 22nd February.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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